I see your rolling hills, your green and pleasant lands, your bubbling rivers and endless pastures. I see your towering cities, great edifices of polished stone and glass raised in defiance of the soot and squalor that birthed them. I see the winding, cobbled streets of your rural hamlets, cottages of plaster and timber capped with thatch. I smell the scent of baking bread wafting up and out from the village shops, smiles on passing faces despite the rain-lashed streets. I see the bunting, the tea and scones, the chippie teas, the kebabs, the Beatles, Stonehenge, Big Ben, Snowdonia and the Angel of the North. I see the shipyards, the steel plants, Humber Bridge, The Giant’s Causeway, Edinburgh Castle.
I see the smiling faces, people of all colours and creeds, and deep in their hearts I see the bizarrely deferential desire to be utterly subjugated by the sort of entitled political class who despises them with every fibre of their being.
Well done everybody. When George Orwell put forward his vision for the future of civilisation – that of a boot stamping on a human face, forever – he left out some pretty salient details. Chiefly that the human face would be wearing a gimp mask, having gleefully handed over their money to the posh dominatrix wearing the boot. On Friday morning we woke up, terrified and screaming, rushing to hide under tables as what sounded like a tornado roared through the streets outside. Then the panic subsided as we later realised that all that awful noise was just the sound of blood rushing to Margaret Hodge’s clitoris.
Johnson successfully beat off Corbyn and rubbed his Cummings in his face as he did it. Even with all the online manipulation, lies and vile propagandising ’Get Brexit done’ turned out to be all he needed, a hammer to smash all the socialist nuts Labour laid out on the picnic table. It’s his free pass, a ticket to ride all of us for the next five years, and if you bought into his false optimism enough to believe that he’ll ever let us stop to rest then you better hope you have enough private health insurance to cover your back injury.
It’s time to let the healing begin, he claims, like an arsonist offering a glass of water to the bloke he’s just kneecapped outside a burning hospital. It’s Johnson’s greatest weapon; his ability to appear upbeat, to flog his cheap veneer of charming British eccentricity and look positive despite the inevitable looming horrors. He’s somehow a better salesman than Corbyn could have ever hoped to be and he’s got some turds polished so thoroughly that there are people from Blyth to Bolsover now handing over their money and displaying them on the mantelpiece.
The left have been categorically and comprehensively beaten, now consoling themselves with what meagre crumbs of comfort they can find in the raw numbers and the generational divide. It’s time to take stock and reassess, to be honest about their failures and to address them, hopefully avoiding a drift back to the sort of bland centrism that leaves so many people behind in the dirt in the process. As for you, Tory Britain?
Well you’ve got what you wanted, haven’t you? When you’ve finished gloating about Remoaner tears there’s a whole lot of work to do. Remain are now pretty much locked out of the debate. You got the majority you wanted in emphatic fashion, so presumably it’ll be dead easy to Get Brexit Done now there’s nobody else to blame for it but yourselves. Maybe Boris will even vote for it this time.
We tried to tell you that it might be tricky, what with the impossibility of the trade negotiation timescale and Scotland and Northern Ireland and all that. That’s all on you now, too. I’m sure if Johnson ignores the problem enough they’ll just go away – that’s always worked for his kids. We tried to tell you about social care, living costs, inequality, homelessness, poverty and the NHS too, so presumably you’ll be livid if it turns out we were right about all that to boot.
As for those that didn’t vote Conservative? I’d say don’t worry about them but it’s not like empathy ever bothered you. They’ll grieve and worry for a bit but then they’ll crack on. They’ll do what they can to look after each other and when they can get a look in, they’ll speak up and try to hold your abysmal new normal to account.
You did this, and if in five years you’ve got the brass neck to turn around and point the finger anywhere near them, they’ll bend it back and shove it so far up your arse there won’t be a private proctologist in the country who can find it.
I see you, Tory Britain. I fucking see you.
(Before anyone starts, I know this picture is of more than just the UK. Unfortunately they don’t tend to make satellite photos that erase Ireland as efficiently as the Conservative Party’s memory does.)